HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Aspergers Teens & Angry Outbursts

Question

My son is 13 years old; he has been previously diagnosed with aspergers disorder, adhd and obsessive compulsive disorder. My son lived with his father for six months while I recovered from a nervous breakdown. When I got custody of him again he was very aggressive, would hit his 6 year old brother and call him names and put him down. My ex gave him no discipline from what I gather from my son, he told me he had to raise his six year old brother for them six months. He blames me for the divorce between me and his father. I have bipolar and he doesn’t seem to understand that I am different too and that I need him to cooperate and help me as much as possible. He’s too focused on his ocd, his adhd and his autism and he uses all of these things for an excuse for all of the negative behaviors he is having.

In the last past year he has changed 3 schools, and moved to a new area, which he says he hates. I’m wondering if he will adjust to the new setting and new rules that I have for him. I think some of it is the teenage years; he uses profanity often and shows aggression to get his way no matter what the consequences. I want to help my son but I don’t know what to do. His brother is totally opposite; he does what I tell him and goes by all of the rules.

How do I get my son to show me respect and work on his attitude without so many angry outbursts which could get me evicted from our apartment? I go with the flow to keep things as quiet as possible but things get worse, if I threaten to take his games he threatens and has went as far as walking out of the door leaving me to find him. Am I dealing with Aspergers, Adhd, compulsive disorder or just an unruly teenager? I think it is all of them. I was wondering if there is an autism training center that could come in and work with my son. I am desperate at this point and will do anything to help my child to stay on the right track, I worry that he is headed for suicide or prison. I am very concerned for him, he’s happy as long as I cater to him, but when I stand up for what I think is right he rebels and I pay dearly. Please help.

Answer

Parents of Aspergers (high functioning autism) children and teens will face many behavior problems such as aggression and violent behavior, anger, depression and many other inappropriate behaviors. Part of the problem stems from a conflict between longings for social contact and an inability to be social in ways that attract friendships and relationships.

Aspergers adolescents possess a unique set of attitudes and behaviors:
  • Adolescents with Aspergers tend to be physically and socially awkward, which makes them a frequent target of school bullies. Low self-esteem caused by being rejected and outcast by peers often makes these adolescents even more susceptible to “acting-out” behaviors at home and school.
  • Adolescents with Aspergers rely on routine to provide a sense of control and predictability in their lives. Another characteristic of Aspergers is the development of special interests that are unusual in focus or intensity. Aspergers adolescents may become so obsessed with their particular areas of interest that they get upset and angry when something or someone interrupts their schedule or activity.
  • Adolescents with Aspergers often suffer from “mindblindness,” which means they have difficulty understanding the emotions others are trying to convey through facial expressions and body language. The problem isn’t that adolescents with Aspergers can’t feel emotion, but that they have trouble expressing their own emotions and understanding the feelings of others. “Mindblindness” often give parents the impression that their Aspergers teen is insensitive, selfish and uncaring.
  • Adolescents with Aspergers can be extremely sensitive to loud noise, strong smells and bright lights. This can be a challenge in relationships as Aspergers adolescents may be limited in where they can go on, how well they can tolerate the environment, and how receptive they are to instruction from parents and teachers.
  • Social conventions are a confusing maze for adolescents with Aspergers. They can be disarmingly concise and to the point, and may take jokes and exaggerations literally. Because they struggle to interpret figures of speech and tones of voice that “neuro-typicals” naturally pick up on, they may have difficulty engaging in a two-way conversation. As a result, they may end up fixating on their own interests and ignoring the interests and opinions of others.

Focus on prevention and on helping your Aspergers child to develop communication skills and develop a healthy self-esteem. These things can create the ability to develop relationships and friendships, lessening the chances of having issues with anger.

Anger is often prevalent in Aspergers sufferers when rituals can't get accomplished or when their need for order or symmetry can't be met. Frustration (over little things that usually don't bother others) can lead to anger and sometimes violent outbursts. This kind of anger is best handled through cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on maintaining control in spite of the frustration of not having their needs met.

Rest assured, communication skills and friendship skills can be taught to teens (and even adults), which can eliminate some of the social isolation they feel. This can avert or reverse anger symptoms.

Discipline for Defiant Aspergers Teens


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Communication is hard and understanding is wanted. Those that act out are in pain themselves.
•    Anonymous said… Great post, thank you! I live that life too.
•    Anonymous said… I have been dealing with this for 16 years. Therapy is a on going process. If the behavior is out of control. I would suggest a inpatient treatment facility. This will allow for continued therapy and behavior modification. Trust me.. I know this well. You are not along.
•    Anonymous said… I know this comment may sound soft and shallow, but believe me, as a single parent of an autistic/Asperger's son prone to violent outbursts just like the rest of you, all I can offer is for you the parent to take care of yourself. For me it was Transcendental Meditation. It calms me like nothing else and for some bizarre reason it calms my son, even though he's not the one meditating. I'm not affiliated and not trying to pitch them, but you need to do something CALMING for yourself. Every child is different and requires a unique strategy to cope, and so does every parent. Bless everyone here and let's try to keep our heads and hearts clear.
•    Anonymous said… I'll have to read this, we're having terrible problems with our son!
•    Anonymous said… Im dealing with the same, my son is almost 10. Thank you ladies for this post, makes me feel better that im not alone!
•    Anonymous said… Ive developed a auto immune disease which robs me of energy n makes,me really sick.. how does everyone deal with the mental strain...most days i walk around like a zombie n other times im that guy(girl) people talk about who lost her mind in the middle of buying milk
•    Anonymous said… Mines 10.and the same way. No official diagnosis but he has anxiety phyical vocal and emotional outburts and we trt to punish him and he breaks things..its hours long sometimes of him screaming and breaking things and sometimes even punching us...im afraid once he gets older
•    Anonymous said… My son is 8 and has been diagnosed with ADHD and asperg syndrome.he has outbursts also
•    Anonymous said… This boy sounds so much like my son.
•    Anonymous said… this is why im torn i know he sees the word much diffrently then us and i bend lufe to help him. But at school they dont bend any rules...while i understand that im still fustrated,heartbroken and stressed. Im considering home schooling. Just wish i knew for sure its the best choice
•    Anonymous said… Well i give my son 1 for being good and its been working i got him on ssi and he had outbursts 3 times before i decided this and i took one day at a time and for 5 days my son been good no outbursts and i give him options too like if he cant do something for a example my son he wanted to go yesterday to dollar General i said play on ur phone or color or drawl or eat popsicle something to distract him from what he wants til u can do it when ur ready . Take 1day at a time and be calm with him at all times i just started this 2 months ago and im handling it pretty well and he has asperger's and odd so i understand
•    Anonymous said… Wow! My son is 15 and this is my life right now, although luckily without the physical aggression. I have to admit it is nice to know I'm not the only one dealing with these severe behavior issues!
•    Anonymous said… your beautiful boy sounds like my 8yr old grand son , but these kids live in a completely different world to ours they like to do what they do eat what they eat and if left alone they survive just as well as if we never said a word the more we tell them and yell the worse they get .I have seen the outbursts and man its scary .I enjoy the asperges experts as they do help one get the kids out of defence mode .

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say to you this. My son has Aspergers/Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He too present with anger, negativity and outbursts with authority figures. One thing I learned early on, NEVER walk on broken glass waiting to get cut! Never let things go with ease to avaoid a melt down. Set clear limits he understands with clear consequences he also understands.
Get your child the help hhe needs NOW before it's too late with the laws in your State.
Many parents of Spectrum children do not understand the Laws that protect the child and hinder the parents. As with my son, at the age of 14 in our State children have the RIGHT to not participate in therapy of any sort including Mental Health Services. If and when your child is made aware of the Laws you should be prepared as we were not as we did not even know the Law existed.
My son is as I've said now 17. He is reminded daily that no matter what his diagnosis are, he is bound by the same laws as the rest of the world. Dealing with anger outbursts are horrifying to say the least. It takes a toll on your entire family dynamics. Having a younger child watch this behavior will lead them to issues with outbursts as well.
I also have a 7 yr old who learns from his brothers behavior. We do the same, set limits, make rules and make consequences clearly understood and FOLLOW THROUGH! NEVER let your guilt for the diagnosis to interfere with following through! This will by far be your biggest mistake.
For yourself, establish a support system, keep time for yourself, try to stay positive at all times and again use your support system. If and when violence erupts, call the police to intervene and make sure they are aware of the diagnosis before they arrive for it can cause a bigger problem as well as a negative outcome all around.

Anonymous said...

I like this site, will back here everyday! This is what i was looking for

seth said...

My husband recommended that I explore some Asperger websites. We have a 16 year old son who has not been diagnosed with Aspergers, but we have felt for years that it is the appropriate diagnoses. For the past few years in particular, and reading articles such as this confirm it to us. We have been seeking help since preschool with speech, tutors, psychological evaluations, etc. We were told by one Psychologist that he did not have Aspergers, but diagnosed him with Central Auditory/nonverbal learning disorder. Though he has always had "quirks", he used to be a well-adjusted, happy little boy. Something changed with puberty and outburts of anger and rage began, often over haircuts or cleaning his room. He began collecting things that smell in his bedroom, soap, candles, cologne...He has become more isolated, often sleeping an extreme amount. This had lead to our removing him from school over a year ago and begin homeschooling. His frustration with school work/social issues would lead to complete shut down every afternoon for often the entire evening, and he was beginning to sleep in class. One doctor had put him on an antidepressant which controlled his anger somewhat, but he now refuses to take it b/c he doesn't like the way it makes him feel. He recently went thru a short phase where he couldn't stop laughing and admitted that he needed to go back on meds, but soon after his precious cat died and we are back to extreme lows. My son has one friend who is very patient and understanding, thank God for him and an older brother who spends time working out with and even taking him to do volunteer work. He has a very hands on dad who engages him in all of his favorite activities like hunting, gardening. We don't know what to expect for our future. All of our attempts to get appropriate help for our son to live a happy/normal life have been failures. I fear his anger is going to lead to something terrible and society will view him differently than we do. I have often said that it would have been better for him to have Down's Syndrome, or some other syndrome where he just doesn't "look" so normal. Thankfully my son has an engaged and loving family, but this, more than anything has tested my marriage. We are united and supportive, just tired and fearful!

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

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